HHS: Knowing you have a good sense of humor, we have to ask, what’s with the hair? Last time we saw you, it was high and tight, now you’re a virtual hair-tree? You trying to become the lead-singer of an Alt-Rock group?
Edan: I ain’t trying shit. My hair growing is a result of NOT trying. Haircuts are a result of motherfuckers exerting effort, taking scissors to their shit.
HHS: Most fans probably don’t know this, but your father was involved with booking artists back in the days when the MCI Center in D.C was known as the Capital Center, did this in anyway spurn your future choice of profession?
Edan: Your facts are distorted, bro. My pops never booked anybody. He more or less worked security. Because of his connects though, I once helped build one of those blimps that flew around the arena during Wrestlemania or some shit. Seeing dudes like Ultimate Warrior, or somebody behind-the-scenes all done up with the tassels, but then talking about some regular-ass shit like hamburgers or highway traffic is a surreal experience…
HHS: There are so many styles and different musical elements purveying throughout Beauty And The Beat and it’s not an easy task to cohesively commingle such a wide array of musical elements and samples, how long did it take you to complete this LP?
Edan: In a general sense, this LP is a composite of my experiences starting from day one, some twenty-odd years ago. More specifically though, it took about two and a half years on and off.; definitely a slow-cooked meal. I do this shit when I feel some inspiration…I can no longer squeeze out a bunch of songs, or whatever, just to meet some quota. On the real, I might take a 17- year hiatus between albums, go off to the mountains and study chess if my heart beckons, come back in the year 2022 and drop a new project like nothing happened. I might decide to build mobiles, or some shit like Alexander Calder…
HHS: You and Insight seemed to have formed a very obvious chemistry, which you again display on “Funky Voltron” & “The Science Of The Two.” Can u pinpoint the science of that chemistry? What makes it click?
Edan: We both view hip-hop as a limitless art form. That’s the glue, son. Plus we’re both triple threats. We both build entire albums from the ground up. We’ll come at you on the rhymes, beats and the cuts too! We’ll do all that and collect a check three times the size of the emcee in your crew. Comparisons don’t really apply to those who just do one or the other. Some cats might not like my beats but they like the rhymes, or they like the mixtapes or all three. Its all good…come to the live show. You’ll have to respect at least one aspect of how we get down, unless you’re a bitter,
HHS: On “Smile” you chronicle the story of an artist who on the surface appears to have it all, but behind the stage persona, their lies a completely different facade, one that is mired in depression and angst. Was this track written about someone you have come into contact with or prior knowledge of?
Edan: Well, throughout life, I’ve come across some people that have some genius to them. And it often seems like a blessing and a curse at the same time. Their imaginations are just as likely to tread those dark places as they are the fertile, self-empowering regions of the mind…I, personally, am no genius, but I have been in situations where I’m expected to perform, or to love music and be in top form, even while suffering through a depression, for instance. The “Smile” track sort of acknowledges the dual-mind of the artist, or the clown-entertainer crying on the inside– if you will.
HHS: On “Rock And Roll” you throw a jab at Lenny Kravitz. Besides, making a career out of borrowing other peoples styles to sell millions of records, boning an endless array of models and actresses and making Gap Commercials, what’s Lenny done to you?
Edan: Actually, I don’t really mind Lenny Kravitz personally; that was more of a symbolic lyric on the record. You know what? Actually, It’d be interesting to see what would happen to Lenny Kravitz’s career if he were to get like a really fucked-up case of acne for like three years or so…
HHS: Not too get overly abstract here, but you say the underlying message of Beauty And The Beat is to paraphrase “imagination and its power can overcome all that is perilous with positivity and love.” In these days and times when war is so prevalent and so highly debated, that’s a heavy statement you’re making there, can you get any deeper and really clarify what you mean with that?
Edan: It’s simply time to use our potential and overpower all this negative shit. Love can be the source of all things for you. Enough with the greed, enough racism. Stop being a little bitch that needs a force field of machismo, starting fights at dingy-ass clubs. Be kind to people. Respect the earth and the universe and all of its principles. Realize that we are all kin. The same energy that birthed the plants, animals and elements, gave you YOUR existence. Check it, your mind is fertile soil, your thoughts are seeds and your actions are the sunlight and water that can bring all things into fruition. Plant that positive seed; think the most glorious thoughts that you can possibly imagine. Your next instinct will be to see if you can make those thoughts reality. For example, if dudes keep saying that the world is going to end, then people start to believe it and then it slowly becomes reality. But if we all start saying that the human race will thrive and harmonize, then that’ll soon become the consensus and the next step will be to act on it and make it happen. I’m just saying, your thoughts are powerful seeds, so try to plant some good ones in there before you go and do some bullshit.
HHS: The music you create is widely respected by peers and critics alike and it seems as if you would be a perfect fit on a more branded label (a few come immediately to mind), have you gotten overtures from more established labels? Word is that a few of the major Indy labels have made overtures to express there interest in working with you, why you have relented so far?
Edan: I’ve had offers from two of the biggest Indy labels in the U.S. I just know that right now, I’m trying to establish my own niche before getting swept up under somebody else’s umbrella. The heads of any of these respected Indy labels all exerted crazy time and effort to cultivate their brand into something respectable and unique. I’m just trying to do the same shit for myself. After Lewis Recordings, I’ll probably start selling shit MORE independently. Who knows? I might even cut out distro and retailers fuck it; I’ve got the live show hustle. We’ve got internet and shit like Paypal now. It’s time to cut out the middle men. That way, even if I only sell 10,000 units, I’m still getting over. Having said all that, I’m always down to experiment with like-minded individuals whether it be on the art side or the business end.
HHS: You’re very multi-dimensional, a DJ, producer and an emcee. Is there any one facet that you get more personal satisfaction from at this juncture? One that is more rewarding to you, or one that you feel you’re more advanced in right now?
Edan: It’s all one continuous uphill climb. One aspect influences the other. I might pull out a record like G Rap “Road To The Riches” and the rhymes’ll be crazy enough to make a dude want to write his own shit, then you’ll have the beat Marley cooked up behind that shit, with ‘Stiletto’ in there, next thing you know, I’ll be cutting up copies of ‘Stiletto’ or ‘Assembly Line’ or some shit…whatever…it all comes around 360 degrees.
HHS: Being an artist as well as a fan, from your perspective, aside from being more accessible and a part of our everyday culture now, what’s the biggest difference between the Hiphop that was released a decade ago and what is prevalently heard today?
Edan: I know you’ve heard it before, but the magnitude of the pay-off is the biggest difference today and it affects this shit sonically. Cats today see this as a business hustle FIRST. They used to idealize the artistic aspects a bit more and THEN try to ensure that their business was correct to top it off. The idea of “art” is a well-publicized joke now. Cats today are all about rhyming lazy while playing “the game” attentively and they’re playin’ that shit, but they’re doing it atop crumbling foundations. They don’t really give a shit if their aura or artistic approach is sharp/innovative. A lot of these cats just wanna hit lotto. There’s a bunch of starving motherfuckers who are waiting in line to show their asses any way that the company man wants them to. And even the so-called rebellious youth, who usually don’t go for that shit, are emulating and embracing the sleaze shit that’s beingperpetuated, because that’s all they have to choose from. If we continue to place more value on the dollar then on our own legacy, our own spiritual and imaginative power, then you’re just gonna end up seeing a bunch of shiny cars and shit next to a bunch of ugly, cold-hearted motherfuckers, not smiling. Our potential is much, much greater than that. Capitalism, in theory, is supposed to bring out the best in society through competitive survival, but right now, we’re seeing some lame-ass side effects of this capitalism shit.
HHS: After you drop Beauty And The Beat on us, what’s next for Edan? What’s the next step in your evolution as an artist?
Edan: At this point, artistically, my mind is an open book with no specific literature within its pages. I’m open to anything that this life wishes to show me. I know for certain that I will never rush something that I’m involved in. If a project takes three years, then it takes three years. Right now, I need to travel, do the shows, meet the people, etc. When all of that starts to die down, then I’ll have to live a little, collect my thoughts, get upset, get inspired, splash some paint around and prepare to climb Mount Everest all over again…
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